Exhibitions

Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books 1960s–Now

Project Room 1 Sep 11–Dec 4, 2010

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Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books 1960s–Now
Sep 11–Dec 4, 2010

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Mirella Bentivoglio, Histoire d’O, 1985
Mirella Bentivoglio, Histoire d’O, 1985, Ink on stone, 4 x 2 x 1 ½ in, Pomona College Museum of Art, Gift of the artist
Luca Pancrazzi, Formato, 1999, page view
Luca Pancrazzi, Formato, 1999, page view, Private Collection
Maurizio Nannucci, Universum Volume I Volume II, object view
Maurizio Nannucci, Universum Volume I Volume II, object view, Private Collection
Mirella Bentivoglio, Reality and the Book (La realta e il libro), 1986
Mirella Bentivoglio, Reality and the Book (La realta e il libro), 1986, Mica and letraset, 2 pieces: 9 x 3 ½ in. each, Pomona College Museum of Art, Gift of the artist
Mirella Bentivoglio, Reality and the Book (La realta e il libro), 1986
Project Room: Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books, 1960s–Now, 2010, Installation view, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Photo: Kelly Barrie
Project Room: Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books, 1960s–Now, 2010
Project Room: Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books, 1960s–Now, 2010, Installation view, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Photo: Kelly Barrie
Project Room: Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books, 1960s–Now, 2010, Installation view
Project Room: Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books, 1960s–Now, 2010, Installation view, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Photo: Kelly Barrie

Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books 1960s-Now presents a concise history of Italian art through the form of the artist’s book. The artist’s book is extremely varied–in the imagery, language, medium, and content embraced by its author–and the wide range of examples selected for this exhibition emphasizes the possibilities of the genre. In many instances, in fact, the included works do not conform to the traditional structure of a book, or, for that matter, to any conventional art object. They are a hybrid form: book/art/object. Conceived as a complement to Combustione: Alberto Burri and America, Libro/Oggetto features works by Burri’s contemporaries and successors, creating a contextual framework for his production.

Libro/Oggetto includes work by 49 artists working in a wide array of artistic movements. For example, the Visual Poetry artists of the 1960s and ’70s used the book inventively to explore the combination of text and image. Arte Povera, which erupted from within a consumer society marked by mass production, sought to create work with “poor means.” For these artists, the book became a vehicle for constructing a new, raw visual vocabulary with everyday materials. During the late 1970s and early ’80s, the Transavanguardia movement dramatically expanded the definition of painting. For those artists, the book was the perfect format in which to show their new brand of figuration and narrative.

A generation of young artists continues to work with this form, expanding upon the trails blazed by their forebears. Libro/Oggetto illustrates the rich diversity inherent in the artist’s book, revealing the artistic trends of Italian art over the past 50 years.

Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books 1960s-Now features works by: Giovanni Anselmo, Stefano Arienti, Mirella Bentivoglio, Alighiero Boetti, Alberto Burri, Luca Buvoli, Chiara Camoni, Paolo Canevari, Loriana Castano, Maurizio Cattelan, Sandro Chia, Giuseppe Chiari, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Gino de Dominicis, Nicola De Maria, Mario Diacono, Luciano Fabro, Giovanni Ferrario, Emilio Isgrò, Jannis Kounellis, Ketty La Rocca, Andrea Marescalchi, Amedeo Martegani, Luigia Martelloni, Fabio Mauri, Mario Merz, Eugenio Miccini, Bruno Munari, Maurizio Nannucci, Luigi Ontani, Pierpaolo Pagano, Mimmo Paladino, Luca Pancrazzi, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Luciano Perna, Lucia Pescador, Lamberto Pignotti, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Pedro Riz a Porta, Ettore Spalletti, Allessandra Spranzi, Mauro Staccioli, Ernesto Tatafiore, and Emilio Villa.

Libro/Oggetto: Italian Artists’ Books 1960s-Now was organized by guest curators Giovanna Zamboni Paulis and Randi Malkin Steinberger.
 

Support for the exhibition has been provided by Fondazione Azzurra. Additional support is provided by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (IIC), Los Angeles.